Pirates Prospects has learned that the Pittsburgh Pirates have signed left-handed pitcher Estalin Ortiz from the Dominican Republic. He’s 19 years old and stands 6’4″, 220 pounds. Ortiz reportedly agreed to an offer with the Philadelphia Phillies in early December, but he did not sign. He had also been scouted by numerous other teams late last year who were interested in signing him, but wouldn’t match his bonus demand, which was higher at the time.
I was able to find two videos of him, one of them a brief one with a scouting report from that day. The first is a YouTube video from October 2016 when he pitched in a tournament in Florida. He was sitting 92-93 MPH during this game.
The second is a clip of off Twitter when he was playing in a tournament with the Dominican Prospect League this past October.
— Javier.py (@Jav_PTBNL) October 25, 2017
Ortiz allowed one hit and had two strikeouts during his only inning in the game shown above. He also threw two innings prior to that with six strikeouts in that game. It was during this tournament that multiple teams were interested in signing him. He has been up to 94-95 MPH since that video. He also throws a changeup in the mid-80s.
There is no bonus known at this time for Ortiz, but based on what I’ve heard from someone with inside knowledge, it’s probably in the $200,000-$300,000 range.
The Pirates have now signed 43 international free agents since July 2nd (technically 45, but two contracts were voided). We don’t know their remaining bonus pool, but I think it’s safe to say it’s under $1 M at this point and could be much closer to $500,000 left out of their $5.75 M pool.
John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.
When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.